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Showing posts from April, 2010

ode to the ocean

Oh my God! This time next week we will be out on the open ocean. TSO, RugbyGirl, S, B1 & B2 and I are setting sail on a 5 nights and 5 days cruise to the Bahamas, Grand Turk and Caicos Islands. This was the year that I decided that, from this year on out until I die, I want to go somewhere that I've never been. So why not start with a cruise!? I can't wait, can't wait, can't wait! I have never been on a cruise so that makes it all the more exciting. I have decided that I don't care if I sit poolside soaking up the sun, or staring out at the ocean for hours, or laying on sandy shores. None of it matters. What matters is that I will be having this once in a lifetime adventure with some of my friends, something I will look back on in 50 years and be grateful for.

I love the smell of salt air; the way the ocean air feels different and more exciting; the way the ocean breezes and salt splashes wash over your face making it tingle with mystery; the endlessness of th…

the little things

I am so excited for our cruise, but at the same time I am very aware of the little things that we will be missing while gone. I just have to pause and recognize these things for their minute loveliness:
TSO's and my seedlings are growing every day, and as silly as it sounds, I really look forward to the progress. I am wondering at the fact that the plants will be so much bigger when we get back. Such is the wonder of the life cycle of plants.The lilac bushes (which are my favorites) have begun blooming in the city. The Farm is at a slightly higher elevation, which means it's always a little cooler here and things open a little behind the times here too. I am bummed that we might miss that first burst of overwhelming fragrance.The view of the mountains around growing into even deeper shades of green.Ok, now that I've gotten that out of my system, I am ready.

towing the line

Thought I would do a Bucket List check in, especially as our cruise is only a week away! (For the original--wordy--list, click the above link.)
Clean our basement PaintballCruise X We leave in a week!!Read 30 books by the end of the year  8 books down, a few more nearly doneHike all of the trails on the Farm  Done several  more since last time, but more to go.Read more poetry Have been reading more poetry, trying new poetsWatch the Godfather I & II IGo clubbing (out here) Get everyone to go karaoke Make it through Life Aquatic without falling asleepGo to Minute Man National Park Go to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Go to more of the museums nearby Get through The Fountainhead Grow sunflowers Read War and Peace Philadelphia Library Job (PT or subbing or even volunteering) X  started volunteering at a nearby library, Feb. 2010Have a Breakfast at Tiffany’s night in NYC (stay up all night partying and then walk around outside, looking in storefront windows while eating a dou…

Washington's late fees and more

Some interesting articles:
An article about George Washington's $300,000 in library late fees4,000 toys are now included in the Toy Lending Collection, John Steinbeck Library, Salinas, CAMark Twain the critic

waiting impatiently

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My seeds in their planting cells--tomatoes: Roma and Italian heirloom, green onions, red peppers and delphiniums--covering our kitchen table.
Rainbows of seeds.
Rainbows of seeds.
I am exitedly anticipating green. My first seedling has sprouted and just barely made it past the soil surface; a green onion birthed into the world. And now I am left to check my plant cells everyday for signs of something; sighing and watering as needed.

the world anew

Things have been so busy lately. Too tired to think about all that. Would rather think of spring. And flowers. And short sentences. What is spring looking like around here?

The sap buckets, which had been hanging on hundreds of trees all over the Farm, are mostly gone. The only indicators these buckets were once here are the holes that are visible upon closer inspection of said trees. Grass is green and trees are budding. Birds are loud. The snow drops of March are gone. Daffodils reign in mustard yellow, muted yellows and yellow white mixes. Around our house irises have sprouted but are headless and void of anything which would indicate that these will soon be beautiful flowers.

TSO was outside planting gladiolus and moving plants around the other day. I followed with triteleia bulbs (which I'd never heard of before this year) and weeding fingers. The ground was wonderfully, skin-numbingly cold; it felt good to again look down at my dirty hands and filthy finger nails. As one of …

proposed Massachusetts library cuts

Massachusetts is dealing with the blows of an almost $9 billion deficit. That means cutting. Lots of things, necessary things. I can't speak to all the other cuts, and how those cuts will be devastating to the programs that will be affected; I realize that there may be other things that are more important than libraries that will feel the squeeze, but I am particularly worried about libraries.

According to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners:

MLS Designated as Regional Administrative Entity
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) held a special meeting on April 13 at which it voted to designate the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) as the administrative entity to provide regional services to libraries and residents beginning July 1, 2010. This action was necessitated by a severe reduction in funding to the regional budget line. Please see the chart below for funding details.

Account NumberAccount NameFY2009FY2010FY2011 - Governor'sFY2011 - House Wa…

supporting sustainability

Having lived out here for nearly 4 years (if you count my first time around and my current stint); having grown accustomed to walking under starry skies, devoid of city lights to make the night sky unnavigable; having gotten used to the earthy, rich smells of a farm, and even loving the manure smell of the dairy barn; having gotten used to no cell phones; having gotten used to everything that being on the Farm means, I guess I forgot how all of these things seemed almost unimaginable when I was living in the dregs of my old life.

I was reminded of this very fact the other day when I was back in Michigan. It wasn't being in MI which stirred these thoughts in me, it was the time alone in the car. I look forward to the long drives, the time spent alone in the car lost in thoughts, listening to music and as it were on this trip, lots of books on CD. On the way home I listened to Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle, which awakened something in me. I listened, feeling call…

our animal kingdom

It's funny how the daily rituals of the animals around the Farm can occassioanlly seem less than thrilling as we grow accustomed to sharing our little world with them. Being back in Michigan this past weekend made me very aware of this fact, as the only animals I saw were family pets; gas guzzling beasts on the southeastern Michigan highways, growling and lurching all around me; and the occasional robins, indicators of spring in the midwest. I told my family and friends stories about what we'd encountered lately around the Farm and they oohed and aahed, intrigued. So, I thought I would mention the latest and greatest animal sightings (my own and others) worth noting.
Moose: A few weeks back an acquaintance mentioned his having seen a moose. It was near dusk and the acquaintance was hiking one of the many Farm trails. I am assuming it was this same moose which was also reported to have been seen not far from this trail a few days later. Hearing of these sighting made me think th…

the lineup

After my last grumpy Gus posting I felt it was necessary to go back to talking about good things at the Farm. Things which make people happy; which make me happy: the cows. I won't go into a long extensive blog about the hows of milking, since I think I covered some of it here, but rather just share some of the stats. If you look at the blog (from link above), you will notice some names have dissapeared from the list, this means that the cows have either been moved to other barns or fields or they have errmmm..."joined the kitchen team," meaning food. The newer additions are calves which grew up to become milkers!

Josephine: 25 lbs (a.m.) 20 lbs (p.m.) Total: 45lbs

Joann: (this is Josephine's daughter) 14 lbs (a.m.) 14 lbs (p.m.) Total: 28 lbs

Tara: 14 lbs (a.m.) 9 lbs. (p.m.)  Total: 23 lbs.

Curly Horns: 20 lbs (a.m.) 26 lbs (p.m.) Total: 46 lbs

Jasmine: 15 lbs (a.m.) 16 lbs (p.m.) Total: 31 lbs

Sylvia: 13 lbs (a.m.) 12 lbs (p.m.) Total: 25 lbs

Emily: 26 lbs (a.m.) …

screw contributing a verse...or anything!

I am mad at Uncle Walt (Whitman). Why do his poems, even the sad ones, seem elegaic and lovely? Why didn't he ever write about what it's like to be hundreds of miles away from family and homesick?! To work and try and forget the things that are bothering; to walk with a friend and talk and seem to make sense of it; to finally resolve to be content with a movie, only to have Scout and Boo Radley bail too, and my computer freeze. Why couldn't he have written a poem, cleverly masking the way that communtiy is supposed to work, and me in it; how it's all supposed to make sense.

And then I find this. Stupid poem.

"Oh Me! O life!"

O Me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;

Of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities fill'd with the
foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I,
and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light--of the objects mean--of the
struggle ever renew'd;
Of the poor results of all--o…

many things of beauty today

Today is the epitomy of spring. I walked a three mile loop around the Farm this morning; crossing off and onto our property; following paved roads onto dirt onto pavement again, off roads into the woods. It is perfect in its sunshiniest, blue sky glory. Today is a day for walks; wanderings through the Dumps' Swap Shop, in search of treasures; eating lunch outside with friends; reading books in the sun. There is little more to say except what Keats says best:

"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever"

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of b…

the skull

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Awesome Town Library, which I just started volunteering at a few weeks back, has a really great art collection. While shelving books today I found a 760+ page book on Marc Chagall and just had to check it out; while flipping through the book I found this beautiful portrayal of Christ on the cross. It is aptly titled, "Golgotha." Golgotha (aka Calvary) was the hill where Christ was crucified; the word Golgotha can be traced back to the Hebrew word "golgoleth," or Aramaic word, "gulgulta," both essentially meaning, "skull." It felt appropriate to stumble upon this picture today, since it is Holy Thursday, and tomorrow of course (for Christians) is Good Friday, the day on which Christ died on the cross at Golgotha.

Guess this is your history/art lesson for the day. :)  Happy Easter all!